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a little headset advice(3 posts)

a little headset adviceDuane Gran
Aug 15, 2001 6:19 AM
Yesterday I had a somewhat scary revelation and thought I would share with the rest of you. Basically I had the fork on my Giant TCR replaced per warranty. I picked up the bike from the shop and for one reason or another I wasn't able to ride it for about 3 weeks afterward. This week I christened it with a ride, but it felt all wrong to me. I should have known something was wrong, but I was in a little denial and was eager to start my group ride.

Anyhow, yesterday I decided to swing by the bike shop and ask them to take a peek at it. For lack of a better word the front of the bike felt sloppy. Sure enough, my headset was loose. It was let out of the shop like this. They got it tightened up for me on the spot, so I wasn't too upset about it. Their service track record has been great so far.

Anyhow, the signs of a loose headset (as far as I know) is a clunky or sloppy feeling in the steering, a difficulty holding a good line and it is really hard to ride no hands. This can be a serious issue as a hard bump could unset the fork and have you careening down a hill with no steering. Ick! Be safe out there.
Not a serious worryKerry Irons
Aug 15, 2001 4:00 PM
For your headset to be so loose that the fork could "unset" or completely jump out of alignment, it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't see this coming. A loose headset makes handling sketchy and you hear thunks and clunks, but it really is no hazard. For your imagined doomsday scenario to occur, you'd have to be completely oblivious to the condition of the front end of the bike. For example, if the HS was that loose, every time you touched the brakes, the front wheel would move back a couple of inches.
ThanksDuane Gran
Aug 16, 2001 10:28 AM
Thank you for the clarification. My bike shop put the fear of God in me and had me believing that I nearly averted serious danger. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have it tightened up.